Browsing and bark peeling by ungulates is known to affect biodiversity and may constitute the main driving factor of single tree population dynamics. In Slovakia, European yew (Taxus baccata L.) is a threatened species protected by law and present in many protected areas. In the study, we emphasize that protecting land and individual plants may not be sufficient for maintaining of yew populations, unless controlling over damage by deer game is also undertaken. Our results show that in beech forests of the Veľká Fatra Mts, browsing and bark peeling constitute the main negative factor affecting yew seedling-sapling ingrowth transition, and the mortality and vitality loss of adult yew trees. We argue that ungulates may have a larger effect on biodiversity conservation than currently realized.
The main objective of the study is to facilitate cross-dating of sensitive tree-ring series from living European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) trees in the absence of a regional chronology. The main idea lies in the preliminary dating of marker rings or ring patterns visually identified on the wood (before the ring-width measurements), which is independently validated through a moving correlation between a tentative reference chronology and instrumental climate records (after the ring-width measurements). Following the detection of low moving correlations, potentially misdated segments or series are re-examined and a new tentative reference chronology is constructed. The process is repeated as long as a higher correlation with climate is obtainable. The applicability of this method was investigated on three difficult-to-date sets of tree-ring series of beech trees which were growing at temperature- or precipitation-sensitive locations in under-canopy or canopy positions. A good ability of the combined method for the cross-dating was practiced on datasets almost impossible to cross-date by commonly used approaches. Highlighting the actual correlation of ring widths with climate in tree-ring series makes the cross-dating process more independent from human decisions, so the com-bined cross-dating has the potential to improve the reliability of various dendrochronological studies.
Extracting cores from a tree using an increment borer has been standard practice in dendrochronological studies for a long time. Although empirical rules exist regarding how many samples to take and which methodology to apply, comparatively few studies provide quantification of the similarity of relative tree-ring-widths (TRW) around the stem circumference. The aim of this study was therefore to precisely measure the similarity of standardised TRWs around the stem circumference and to provide objective suggestions for optimal core sampling of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst. [L.]) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) growing in Central European temperate forests.
A large sample of cross-sectional discs was used from Norway spruce and European beech trees growing on various slopes, at different altitudes and biogeographic regions across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The similarity of TRWs measured in different coring directions was analysed by testing the relativized TRW around the trunk (rTRW). Comparison of rTRWs revealed no significant differences between coring directions, indicating that the relative increment was the same around the radius. The results also showed the high similarity between the rTRWs to be independent of both slope inclination and altitude. Moreover, the reconstruction of proportional tree diameters and basal areas backward in time from one core sample and one measurement of tree diameter (basal area) at the time of sample extraction is possible with reasonable precision.